If Canberra has a gritty inner-city, Lonsdale Street, just north-east of Civic, is it, and Canberra specialty coffee pioneer Lonsdale Street Roasters is its weathered-timber, scuffed-concrete and just-a-little-worn-around-the-edges cafe central.
The vibe is so laid-back it’s almost like being Sydney beachside – the old Wailers soundtrack, turned down but not too low, tells you everything you need to know about Lonsdale Street Roasters, as do classic breakfasts of ricotta hotcakes with mascarpone and crushed berries or corn fritters with smashed avo and house-smoked salmon.
Lunch comes from the barbecue pit – custom-made in Missouri, and fired up with local white oak for smoking beef brisket, pork shoulder and trout, which are stuffed into sandwiches with cabbage ’slaw or espresso barbecue sauce.
The best seats are upstairs, with full-length windows offering views over the Braddon scene. House-roasted coffee comes in blends with hip names – Assassin, Honey Bear, Moonshine, Wild Child – plus a range of single origins. Canberra’s best flat white? Quite possibly.
Where 7 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, phone (02) 6156 0975
When Mon–Fri 6.30am–4pm, Sat 6.30am–3pm, Sun 8am–2pm